Spain's Sanchez gambles on snap election

STORY: Spain's Socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez unexpectedly called a snap national election on Monday (May 29).

It came after left-wing parties were routed in a regional ballot.

Sanchez, who had repeatedly said he wanted to see out a full term in office, portrayed Sunday's crippling defeat as a clear vote of no confidence in his coalition government.

The mainstream conservative People's Party (PP) of Alberto Nunez Feijoo won outright control of two regional administrations.

He spelled out his aim of becoming the country's next leader.

Feijoo could run six more administrations in partnership with the far-right Vox, whose leader Santiago Abascal said he was ready to form coalitions with the PP.

In all, 12 regions were contested.

Sunday's results indicate the PP and the far-right Vox could unseat Sanchez's Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE) if they replicated that performance at the national level.

Sanchez called the national election for July 23.